Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Discover how prized achievements around the world rely on mathematics and statistics
Mathematics is humanity's most powerful tool for comprehending the universe and is essential for many fields of modern endeavours such as science, technology, engineering and finance.
The study of Mathematics and Statistics at UWA involves data analysis, forecasting, decision making and detailed problem solving, while determining creative ways to improve modern life with mathematical tools and techniques.
The expertise of the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation research cluster covers matrix groups and computational group theory, permutation groups, graph theory, finite geometry and buildings and matroid theory.
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics was awarded 5 out of 5 in Excellence of Research Australia in Mathematical Sciences (Pure and Applied Mathematics).
Selecting an Honours project and supervisor
The project and dissertation is a pivotal element of the Honours year.
Your first task should be to find a supervisor and project you think will suit you.
Most staff work on a first-come-first-served basis, so we recommend you get in early.
Role of the supervisor:
While your Honours supervisor is your first contact when you have any issues, your project is ultimately your own responsibility and a degree of independence in your part is expected.
You should clarify early in the year the pattern of contact that you and your supervisor are going to have.
Support from your project supervisor includes:
- Supervision meetings - student and supervisor usually meet weekly or fortnightly. Frequency of meetings increases as the project submission date approaches.
- Reading of drafts - your supervisor will read a couple of drafts of your final dissertation providing you provide sufficient time for them - they may need three days to a week to read your draft and make comments.
- Honours Seminar advice - your supervisor will provide advice for your Honours Seminar presentation in the Scientific Communication course.
Supervisors and project topics:
- Applied mathematics and complex systems
- Debora CorreaNonlinear time series, machine learning, dynamical systems, complex systems.
- Neville Fowkes: Modelling industrial and scientific problems
- Des Hill: Fluid mechanics, Differential equations, Dynamical systems
- Jenny Hopwood: Atmospheric modelling
- Miccal Matthews: Theoretical mechanics
- David Pfefferlé: Mathematical physics: applications of differential geometry, Lagrangian/Hamiltonian dynamics, reduction by symmetry (Lie-Poincaré); Numerical methods: symplectic and structure-preserving integrators, finite-element, particle-in-cell, Monte-Carlo; Plasmas: Magneto-hydrodynamics, kinetic theories and collisional fluid closure
- Leonardo Portes: Unveiling the hidden stories within data: nonlinear time series analysis, complex systems, big data visualisation.
- Michael Small: Complex systems, dynamical systems, nonlinear time series analysis, complex engineering systems.
- Thomas Stemler: Complex systems, dynamical systems, nonlinear time series analysis.
- David Walker: Complex systems data analysis, applications of complex networks.
- Ayham Zaitouny: Positioning,navigating and tracking moving objects.
- Shannon Algar: Swarming, swarm-reservoir computers, nonlinear time series.
- Pure mathematics and discrete mathematics
- John Bamberg:
- Alice Devillers: Permutation groups, graphs, geometries
- Serena Dipierro: Mathematical analysis, partial differential equations, calculus of variations, nonlinear analysis, free boundary problems
- Michael Giudici: Permutation groups,group theory,graph symmetry.
- Lyle Noakes: Applications of differential geometry
- Cheryl Praeger: Group Theory, geometry and combinatorics
- Gordon Royle: Algebra, geometry, graph theory
- Phil Schultz: Algebra, history of mathematics
- Luchezar Stoyanov: Fractal geometry, topological dynamics, differential dynamics and inverse spectral problems
- Enrico Valdinoci: Partial differential equations, nonlocal equations, free boundary problems, dynamical systems, atom dislocation in crystals, mathematical biology, differential geometry
- Mathematical statistics and applied statistics
- Ed Cripps: Bayesian statistics, computational statistics, mixture models, model uncertainty
- Nazim Khan: Probability and stochastic processes, Medical and Biological statistics, Mathematics education.
- John Lau: Bayesian statistics, computational statistics, mixture models, Time series
- Gopal Nair: Stochastic Modelling, Queuing theory, Spatial point processes, Probability Theory
- Tony Pakes: Probability and stochastic processes
- Adriano Polpo: Bayesian methods; Functional data analysis; Hypothesis test; (multi)bivariate data; Regression models (Categorical, Longitudina, Nonlinear, Penalised, Quantile); Reliability theory (survival analysis); Semiparametric models; Time series
- Berwin Turlach: Computational statistics, smoothing techniques, model selection
- Other topics currently available
- Statistical assessment of pile design approaches: Prof Barry Lehane and Prof Berwin Turlach
Our Reseach Areas
- Applied Mathematics
Applied Mathematics is about using the theory and techniques of mathematics and statistics to understand and deal with the real world.
Biological and physical sciences, computing, commerce, medicine, manufacturing industry and environmental management are some of the fields which need to connect with mathematics and its the job of the applied mathematician to make the connections.
- David M. Walker - Complex networks, Nonlinear time series, Dynamical systems, Modelling animal behaviour, granular media and other physical, ecological and biological systems
- David Pfefferle - Kinetic theory, Fluid and plasma dynamics, Hamiltonian/Lagrangian mechanics, Numerical methods
- Debora Correa - Nonlinear time series, Machine learning, Dynamical systems, Complex systems
- Miccal Matthews - Theoretical mechanics, Differential equations, Mathematical modelling
- Michael Small - Complex systems, Complex networks, Non-linear dynamics, Complex data modeling
- Nev Fowkes - Industrial modelling, Theoretical mechanics
- Thomas Stemler - Complex systems and networks, Nonlinear time series analysis, Dynamical systems, Paleo-climate proxy analysis and traffic modeling
- Leonardo Portes - Complex systems-driven data science, Differential network analysis, Synchronisation, whatever is neccessary to find a needle in a haystack of data
- Ayham Zaitouny - Positioning and tracking, Complex systems, Nonlinear time series, Dynamical systems, Geological, ecological and biological systems
- Shannon Algar - Swarming, swarm-reservoir computers, nonlinear time series
- Ismael Mola - Computational Fluid Dynamics, aggregation, industrial fluid-particle systems
- Pure Mathematics
Pure Mathemathematics is about understanding the fundamental properties of mathematical concepts and objects whose original motivation may have come from problems in the real world.
Topics can be categorised roughly as “algebra”, “combinatorics”, and “analysis”. Algebra and combinatorics have a discrete feel to it (like constructing or breaking codes), whereas analysis has a continuous flavour (like studying properties of mechanical systems).
- John Bamberg - Incidence geometry, Combinational computation
- Alice Devillers - Graph theory, Incidence geometry, Combinational designs
- Serena Dipierro - Partial differential equations, Free boundary problems, Calculus of variations, Nonlocal equations
- Michael Giudici - Group theory, Graph theory
- Stephen Glasby - Group theory, Group algorithms
- Jesse Lansdown - Incidence geometry, Combinational computation
- Lyle Noakes - Variational problems in differential geometry, and applications in approximation theory
- Giorgio Poggesi - Partial differential equations, Geometric properties of solutions to PDE's, Geometric and functional inequalities, Shape optimisation, Free boundary problems, Calculus of variations, and applications
- Gordon Royle - Graph theory, Matroid theory, Combinational computation
- Luchezar Stoyanov - Dynamical systems and ergodic theory, geometry, scattering theory
- Cheryl Praeger - Group theory, Graph theory, Combinatorial designs, Group algorithms
- Enrico Valdinoci - Partial differential equations, Free boundary problems, Calculus of variations, Nonlocal equations
The study of mathematical statistics involves quantitative skills and knowledge of statistical methods, both their practical application and their mathematical foundations.
Applied statistics is concerned with the application of statistical methods. These applications can be in a huge variety of areas, such as medicine, business, finance, science and industry.
Research includes practical experience using computer systems to analyse data, and the ability to understand and criticise arguments based on numerical data or mathematical reasoning.
- Inge Koch
- Adriano Polpo de Campos
- Berwin Turlach
- John Lau
- Edward Cripps
- Gopalan Nair
- Nazim Khan
- Alethea Rea
- Matthew Tuson
- Martin Firth
- Michelle Trevenen
- Matthew Knuiman (School of Population and Global Health)
- Kevin Murray (School of Population and Global Health)
Research Clusters associated with the Department
Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation
Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation explores the abstract concepts that provide the foundations for developments in applied mathematics, science and technology.Read more
Complex Data Analysis
Using innovative techniques, the Complex Data Modelling research group develop mathematical, statistical and computational methodology to support engineering projects.Read more
Quantum information, simulation and algorithms
This discipline researches the potential to harness nature at a deeper level while developing new possibilities for communication and data processing.Read more
Real time Optimisation Scheduling and Logistics
This group’s research develops optimisation, scheduling and control solutions for the mining and offshore extraction sectors and associated operations, such as transport, energy supply and the servicing of remote communities.Read more
Renewable Energy and Microgrids
The Renewable Energy and Microgrids discipline looks at ways to make the modern world’s transition to renewable energy smoother and more efficient.Read more
Machine Learning Applications for Physical Sciences
The Machine Learning Applications for Physical Sciences (MAPS) research cluster focus on the application of state-of-the-art Machine Learning algorithms for efficient processing, accurate characterisation and robust prediction of signals arising in physical sciences.Read more
Systems for Knowledge Discovery from Data
The Systems for Knowledge Discovery from Data research cluster studies big data systems: systems that gather sensed data, discover knowledge from that data, and ensure the integrity, security and availability of data and systems.Read more
Community and industry engagement
WA Junior Mathematics Olympiad
UWA works with the Western Australia Mathematical Olympiad Committee to host the annual WA Junior Mathematics Olympiad for exceptional Year 7, 8 and 9 students.
The competition seeks to find the youngest mathematical minds in the state. Prizes include an award for the most outstanding Year 9 and Year 8 student, as well as prizes for the best mathematic team. A number of Western Australian universities sponsor the prizes, along with the Department of Education, New Edition Bookshop and Data Analysis Australia.
Blakers Mathematics Competition
The 2022 Blakers Mathematics Competition is now open, as of 1 July and will close at 4pm on Friday 16 September.
The Blakers Mathematics Competition was established with a bequest from the family of Professor Larry Blakers after his death in 1995.
The first Competition was a local event, for UWA students only, in 1996. Since 1997, the Competition has been held annually, open to first to third year students at any Western Australian university.
Professor Blakers was a Professor of Mathematics at UWA for 30 years and Head of Department for 29 of them. He played an important role in the foundation of the Australian Mathematical Society, the Australian Association of Mathematical Teachers and the Mathematical Association of Western Australia (MAWA), and was a founder and long term Director of the National Mathematics Summer School for gifted high school students which takes place in Canberra each year.
Eligible candidates for the 2022 competition are all undergraduates in first, second and third years at a WA university.
See honour roll of previous winners, and problems and solutions of previous years, here.
The Centre for Applied Statistics
The Centre for Applied Statistics provides expert training and consultancy in statistics to enable the University, industry and government to produce excellent research.
Visit the Centre here
The Cheryl Praeger Mathematics Academy
The Cheryl Praeger Mathematics Academy is an initiative of Joseph Banks Secondary College
Spotlight on our people
Cheryl E Praeger is a multiple award-winning Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at UWA and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.Read more
Michael SmallTeaching, Research
Professor Michael Small is one of Australia’s highly published mathematicians and has spent his career developing innovative approaches to modelling and predicting future behaviour from data. He has applied this to improving the reliability of engineering systems.Read more
Awards, Grants and Prizes
- Prof Enrico Valdinoci (2002), Prof Cheryl Praeger (1973), Prof Michael Giudici (2002) and Prof Gordon Royle (1987) appear on the MathSciNet database as the most cited mathematicians in their graduating year.
- Prof Inge Koch, who has accepted an invitation to be one of the Australian 'Women in Mathematics' and to feature in their exhibition and Prof Cheryl Praeger who is also featured in the exhibition.
- Alex Bors who received a 2018 Kirkman Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications. Kirkman Medals recognise excellent research by Fellows or Associate Fellows of the ICA early in their research career, as evidenced by an excellent body of published research. According to the citation he "has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of combinatorial and quantitative problems on finite groups. He addresses fundamental theoretical questions, some of which are motivated by practical applications. He seeks characterizations that support efficient algorithmic decidability".
- Prof Snezhana Abarzhi features in the August PNAS Podcast, Science Sessions, 'Interfaces and Mixing'.
Brilliant mathematician wins Australia's top prize for science
The University of Western Australia’s Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger has won the prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize for Science – the first Western Australian to receive the award.Read more
UWA student awarded 2019 Rhodes Scholarship
A mathematician, choral singer and pianist from The University of Western Australia has been awarded a prestigious Rhodes ScholarshipRead more
UWA maths prodigy wins international award
Professor Akshay Venkatesh, is only the second Australian to have been awarded the Fields Medal.Read more
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